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Microsoft rushes to fix Internet Explorer bug

Computer firm Microsoft is hurrying to fix a bug with the Internet Explorer browser after it emerged that hackers have already exploited the glitch with attacks on US companies.

Computer giant Microsoft is working to fix a bug with its Internet Explorer browser. Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA/Press Association Images

Microsoft said the bug could allow hackers to take over a computer, install malicious programmes and create user accounts.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye said so far there had been "targeted attacks seemingly against U.S.-based firms, currently tied to defence and financial sectors".

Public urged to 'change every password' amid bug worry

Several technology companies have urged the public to reset their passwords amid fears of a major security problem with a product used to protect people's personal data.

The Heartbleed bug affects OpenSSL, which many companies use to protect sensitive information, including people's password.

A small padlock icon appears on websites using OpenSSL to reassure users, but the loophole in the programme could have left it open to exploitation by hackers.

The log-in page for an online bank shows the OpenSSL padlock icon Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

Blogging platform Tumblr posted a public notice about the bug, advising users to "take some time to change your passwords everywhere - especially your high-security services like email, file storage, and banking".

Finnish security company Codenomicon also said it would be "a good idea" to change potentially vulnerable passwords.

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